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Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1898-10-01), pages 177-178"

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Ames: Proposed Amendments of the Constitution 177 

The Proposed Amendments of the Constitution of the United States 
during the First Century of its History. By Herman V. Ames, 
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania. [Annual Report of the 
American Historical Association for the year 1896, Vol. II.] 
(Washington : Government Printing Office. 1 897 [ 1 898 J . Pp. 
442.) 

This essay won the prize awarded by the American Historical As- 
sociation for the best monograph based upon original investigation in 
history, submitted to the Council in 1896. It is a work of great value 
and interest to all students of American history, and no investigator into 
the development of our Constitution or the growth of our political insti- 
tutions can afford to overlook it. The production of the monograph 
proves the wisdom of the Association in offering the prize, which we 
hope will result in a series of similar researches, even if they d.. not 
reach the excellence of this essay by Professor Ames. Scholars of con- 
stitutional history have long felt indebted to Professor Albert Bushnell 
Hart for the investigations into the journals and documents of Congr'ess 
pursued in his seminary at Harvard. And this, the author of which 
gracefully acknowledges the aid of Professor Hart, is of the same char- 
acter although superior to the rest. 

The book begins with a brief historical summary of the amendments 
proposed. They are then described in detail, classified in accordance 
with their respective subjects, accompanied by an account of the circum- 
stances which suggested them. This, the principal part of the essay, dis- 
plays wide learning as well as microscopic research, and is a magazine of 
curious facts, many of which are little known, that will be invaluable to 
any future historian. The conclusion is a chronological list of all the 
officially proposed amendments that Professor Ames has found, some of 
which were not published in the Journals but have been copied by him 
from the archives of the Senate and of the state legislatures. The cat- 
alogue contains more than 1 740 propositions, from which have resulted 
the fifteen that have been adopted. The inaction of the lower house of 
the legislature of South Carolina in 181 1 alone prevented the ratification 
of a sixteenth amendment, which would have been the thirteenth in con- 
secutive order, providing that the acceptance of a title of nobility or 
honor should be a forfeiture of citizenship of the United States and a 
disqualification for office "under them or either of them." This passed 
Congress against but eight dissenting votes, was ratified by the legisla- 
tures of twelve states — in Pennsylvania unanimously, — and by the Senate 
of South Carolina ; and the belief that it had become a part of the Con- 
stitution was so widely entertained that it was printed as adopted in offi- 
cial publications until 181 7 and in school histories as late as 1836 (pp. 
187-189). 

The results from this and other searches in the Journals of Congress 
should lead to a new field for the investigators of the original sources of 
our constitutional and institutional history, who are now working in the 

VOL. IV. 12 



178 Reviezus of Books 

universities. The journals of the state legislatures form an almost uncul- 
tivated province which will yield rich results to the patient explorer. 
His labors there will be rewarded not only by the discovery of the sources 
of many of the most important provisions of state constitutions that have 
been copied throughout the country and of statutes that have been copied 
throughout the world, the history of which is still unwritten ; but also by 
unearthing precedents in conflicts between the three departments, the 
executive, the legislative and the judiciary, between the two houses of a 
legislature and between one house and a minority of its members, which 
will be of great value to statesmen in future crises of our national history. 
If the prizes offered by the American Historical Association will en- 
courage studies in this direction, all scholars whose vocations deprive 
them of the pleasure of such original research will be as grateful to these 
students as they are now to Professor Ames. Ropfr Fostfr 

The Journal of Jacob Fowler, narrating an Adventure from Arkansas 

through the Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, 

and New Mexico, to the Sources of Rio Grande del Norte, 1821- 

22. Edited with notes by Elliott Coues. (New York: 

Francis P. Harper. 1898. Pp. xxiv, 183.) 

"I love ballads in print for then we know they are true." This 

knowledge of Mopsa's we all have in reading Fowler's Journal. We 

feel it to be as true as print or preaching. Lying is not easy when one 

writes to aid his own memory. 

Jacob Fowler made a land journey of thirteen months from Coving- 
ton, Ky., to Taos and back again. His narrative begins with his depar- 
ture from Fort Smith, Ark., September 6, 1821. He was second in 
command in a horseback party of traders and trappers twenty strong. 
Their route was along a branch of the Arkansas reaching that river near 
the southern line of Kansas. They made the earliest recorded march up 
that stream to the site of the modern Pueblo. Thence five of the com- 
pany crossed the mountains to Santa Fe. Their absence was alarmingly 
long, but after four weeks they returned with permission to trap and trade 
in the Spanish provinces. Accordingly they followed the Taos trail, and 
arrived in Taos after ten days of mountain march. Thence five of them 
pushed on up the Rio Grande not only to the site of Pike's block -house 
where he was captured by Spaniards, but within one day's travel of the 
reported head of that river. The return homeward was partly down the 
Arkansas, and then over to the Missouri near Kansas City. 

The memoranda jotted down from day to day by Major Fowler relate 
to a world in much of which he was the earliest explorer. They ought 
to have been published long ago. His experience as a land-surveyor 
doubled the value of his observations. Streams, their beds and water, 
water-powers, springs, trees, lime, coal, hills, prairies, animals, nothing 
escaped him. Multitudes in Kansas and Colorado will greet his book 
with a double welcome. Thanks to the illuminating topography of Dr.